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What is a Security Risk Assessment?

No matter how secure you think your business is from an IT perspective, when you walk out of your office at the end of the day, you’re leaving the doors wide open. 

The internet and cloud are always on, and your systems are running 24/7/365. Plus, today’s ever-changing cyber landscape is layered with threats that leverage multiple ways to attack IT systems and capture data: email attachments, infected web ads, phishing sites. There is always a way “in.”

According to a Cybercrime Magazine article citing data from Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime is predicted to total $8 trillion dollars in damage globally in 2023.

Image of an illustrated open door with an exclamation mark in a triangle, with the text "are your doors open to cyber attackers?

Do you have a clear understanding of these cyber thieves? They are constantly finding ways to hack into IT systems and take data for ransom and pushing their way into companies’ tech environments.

Unfortunately, many businesses find out their true cyber security posture and vulnerabilities after the fact. The cost is tough to estimate when you add up potentially irreparable reputational damage, downtime, lost production opportunity, and fees to fix IT systems. Plus, we’re finding that most cyber insurance providers require a forensic review, which means you’re in limbo until that process is complete. 

Going back to the old mantra, “knowledge is power,” a detailed, clear picture of your cyber security posture can be determined during a cybersecurity assessment and provide vital intel for better securing your IT infrastructure. Cybersecurity assessment companies perform IT audits, but when you work with a comprehensive managed IT services provider like DMC Technology Group, you gain the benefit of a multidisciplinary team of IT engineers who examine every facet of your operations through a cybersecurity lens. 

What is Included in a Security Risk Assessment?

A security risk assessment provides a clear picture of your security posture—and it’s a crucial step toward becoming more proactive in your attack surface management and overall IT security strategy. You might be wondering, what should I look for in a cybersecurity risk assessment? 

When DMC partners with businesses of all sizes to perform a thorough audit of your IT Infrastructure, we make sure to cover the following high-impact facets of your systems. 

Security Risk Assessment: We test your organization's security preparedness with vulnerability checks that identify potential risks in IT systems and processes. So, it’s much more than examining hardware and software.

Endpoint Updates: What is your patching policy? If you aren’t sure, that’s a red flag. It’s critical to keep up to date with Microsoft security patches that help protect against the latest cyber threats. 

Passwords: Strong passwords can prevent cyber thieves from “opening the door” to access your company’s data. We’ll review your current password policy and ensure that you have a Windows Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS) in place.

Backup Disaster Plan and Recovery: Cybersecurity should be included in your business continuity plan and address backup and recovery processes. We’ll review your policies and ensure that you have protocols in place to reduce downtime and recover mission-critical systems, applications and data. 

Next-Generation Firewall: A firewall is your first line of defense for preventing cyber threats. The traditional firewall isn’t enough. We recommend advanced threat protection, gateway security, or multi-engine sandbox detection. 

Security Awareness Training: Do your employees understand what cyber hygiene means—and do they actually practice it? You should have formal training in place to raise awareness and teach employees their cybersecurity responsibilities to help avoid security breaches. 

End-Point Detection and Prevention: Our robust next-gen antivirus and malware solution monitors for any threats that may try to make it into your systems. We know not everything gets stopped, but knowing when a breach does happen is just as important as stopping one. We would review what is in use now and where it is lacking and make recommendations on how to lock down any vulnerabilities.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Two-factor authentication (2FA) and MFA requires every user to provide several verification factors to gain access to credentialed accounts and protected information. Without MFA, again, you’re leaving the door to your data wide open. 

Domain Name Service (DNS) Security: We help stage sites through policy-based content filtering. This prevents unwanted site visits and website hijacking. DNS security breaches are a common way cyber thieves gain access to your systems and information.

Advanced Email Protection: We’re seeing more attacks via email attachments and credential phishing. A cybersecurity assessment will analyze your email security and provide recommendations for preventing attacks. 

Encryption: Who can read your company’s messages, access hard drives, and dig into personal information? Without proper encryption, the answer is—anyone. By encoding all of this critical data, only those with authorized access can read or use systems. 

Mobile Device Security: Today’s workforce is hybrid, mobile and employees operate on multiple devices. A cybersecurity assessment should also review how you’re protecting data on employees’ portable devices and the connected network. It takes a multi-layered security approach to prevent cyber attacks.

Conditional Access: Who can access your applications on the cloud and on-premises? The answer should be only those who are authorized, but we find that many businesses lack conditional access tools. 

Life Cycle Management: By maintaining up-to-date hardware and firmware, you can better safeguard IT systems from cybersecurity threats. An audit from a cybersecurity risk assessment company will identify gaps that need to be addressed. 

We’re in this for the long run!  

Employees. We aspire to have every one of our employees retire from DMC, and we have a good track record.  9 of our 24 employees were with DMC when we started in 1993 and we will certainly host retirement parties for all of them.  I tell all prospective employees that my goal is to have them retire from DMC.  Those that fit into our culture share that aspiration.

Clients.  We also aspire to have career-long relationships with our clients.  We want partnerships, not transactions.  We believe these long-term relationships are priceless……….to DMC and our clients.  

Partners.  We have strong loyalty to our technology partners including IBM, Microsoft, Dell, Cisco, SonicWall, Arctic Wolf, HP, and many others.  These firms count on DMC to represent, install, and support their technologies with our clients. They continue to provide us with advanced technologies that allow us to deliver best-in-class solutions.

We also enjoy a great partnership through our joint venture with William Vaughan, Toledo’s largest locally-owned accounting firm, providing IT solutions to their clients.

Who Needs a Security Risk Assessment?

Unfortunately, too many companies wait until a cybersecurity attack occurs before putting into place best practices like annual cybersecurity vulnerability assessments. Any company of any size should get a cyber audit to identify their existing IT security posture and areas that require improvement. 

Some SMBs think that cyber attackers only go after the “big guys” and assume they are safer from data breaches because of their size. This is not true at all. A cyber thief’s goal is to capture data that matters to you so they can hold it for ransom for any given dollar amount. They don’t care what the data is—all that matters is that it’s yours and you need it to function in day-to-day business. 

Also important, cybersecurity vulnerability assessments are required by cyber insurance providers. The insurance company might perform the assessment, and often will require a business to hire a cybersecurity assessment company to perform the third-party audit. These vulnerability assessments are important for insurers and business owners. The insurance company will gain an understanding of possible risks and how to underwrite them; and the business will get a clear picture of potential security breach issues so they can be solved before they become all-out cyber attacks.

What are the Risks of Ignoring Cybersecurity?

What you don’t know about your cybersecurity posture can really hurt your business. Risks of ignoring cybersecurity include:

  • data breaches
  • ransomware attacks
  • phishing scams
  • legal ramifications
  • reputational damage
  • loss of business

Not to mention all of the expenses related to downtime and lost production opportunities. No business can afford to be in this position, and a cybersecurity risk assessment can better position your company to address vulnerabilities, revise cyber protocols and head off security attacks.

What are the Benefits of a Security Risk Assessment?

When you know your numbers—blood pressure, cholesterol—you can maintain better health and improve your overall wellness. You know where you stand and what areas to address. The same is true with a cybersecurity assessment that carefully examines your security posture, inside and out. This way, you can proactively manage vulnerabilities and prevent the cascade of costs and risks that occur when a data breach or cyber attack happens. 

We want to emphasize, cybersecurity assessment is not a one-and-done deal. Like an annual physical to keep track of your health, your business should get a cyber vulnerability assessment from a third party on an annual basis. And the reason it’s so important to partner with an experienced managed IT services provider that employs technical engineers with a range of specialties is so you can get a deep-dive cyber audit from professionals who are dedicated to protecting companies’ IT infrastructure, systems and procedures. 

Basically, you don’t know what you don’t know. The overriding benefit of a cybersecurity assessment is gaining the knowledge required to continuously improve your IT environment. 

Security Risk Assessment Service

Don’t wait for your insurance company to ask you for a cybersecurity assessment. This critical audit of your security posture should be an annual practice, and it’s mission critical for preventing damaging cyber attacks. Check out the high-impact essentials DMC recommends every organization consider, and let’s talk about how a cybersecurity assessment can benefit your business. 

Contact us by filling out this simple form, or call our IT managed services office in Toledo at 419.535.2900.

Posted by Greg Gomach, Business Unit Manager at DMC Technology Group

Headshot of Greg Gomach

7657 king's point rd.

toledo, ohio 43617

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